Last week, two CHAC teams returned home with a trophy and gold and silver medals after competing in the Global Round of the World Scholars’ Cup academic competition in Melbourne. At the competition, our teams joined more than 1,600 students from 27 countries. The five-day competition was one of three Global Rounds of the high-calibre international academic competition.
The event was epic in scale and mind-boggling in terms of the simple logistics of accommodating, feeding and organising the 2,000 students and staff involved, let alone the complexities of running the competition and a series of social events.
As an academic competition, the World Scholars’ Cup is unparalleled in terms of the level of scholarship required of participants, requiring deep and broad study of six complex subject areas, ranging from Human Relationships to Diplomacy to Black Markets to the Science of Memory. Teams competed in exams, writing, impromptu debating and team quizzes, with our Senior Team (Jacques Dennison, Lily Smith and Ella Blacker) and Junior Team (Daniel Carton, Rebecca Leonard and Sam Clark) both acquitting themselves admirably. Achievement highlights include:
- Rebecca Leonard: Junior Scholar Gold Medal (top 2% of 1,000 junior competitors). Writing – gold medal (top 2%). Subject challenge – five gold and one silver medal.
- Daniel Carton: Subject challenges – two gold and one silver medal. Writing – gold medal (top 4%).
- Sam Clark: Subject challenges – one gold and one silver medal. Writing – gold medal.
- Junior Team: Writing – gold medal (top 2% of teams). Debating – won all three debates.
- Jacques Dennison: Debating – Gold medal. Subject challenges – one gold and three silver medals.
- Ella Blacker: Writing – gold medal. Subject challenges – one silver medal.
- Lily Smith: Subject challenges – two silver medals.
- Senior Team: Team Scholars’ Bowl Quiz – gold medal. Debating – won all three debates.
Coordinator: Gifted and Enterprise Education
Students reflect on their World Scholars’ Cup Global Round experience
World Scholars’ Cup was an incredible experience. I’m so glad that I could go, as I’ve met so many new people from countries I knew nothing about! I can truly say that I’ve never had as much fun learning as I did on this trip. Also, thanks to my teammates for making this an incredible memory. I’m sure you all had as much fun as I did.
The World Scholars’ Cup seems initially to be simply another academic competition – detailed topics, intense study, challenging activities. But beneath this façade is a unique, diverse and eye-opening experience that is worth every minute. The 2018 Melbourne Global Round was unforgettable, but the Scholars’ Scavenge on the first day of our stay was, without a doubt, one of the highlights. Following a rousing opening ceremony that set the tone for the week, all 1600 of us were split into random groups to participate in an Amazing Race across Melbourne. What was at first a nervous collection of individuals quickly became a close-knit team as we made our way from the Convention Centre to Sea Life Aquarium and back again, completing bizarre tasks and challenges along the way. We were pushed out of our comfort zones, interacting with complete strangers from the other side of the globe and developing confidence. In the end, we developed valuable friendships with other competitors that will continue to last into the future.
Despite the many incredible events scheduled for us during the World Scholars’ Cup, each division was given one free day to explore different areas of central Melbourne. Our first stop was the National Gallery of Victoria where we viewed English and European art as well as the mesmerising, stained-glass ceiling of the main hall. We were intrigued by the many religious influences throughout the years as well as the talent in all mediums; however, the impressive ceiling in the Great Hall stole the show. The massive stained-glass ceiling took five years to create and many visitors simply stand and admire the light filtering through the coloured panes. After the gallery, we explored the famous laneways filled with remarkable street art. We went down both Hosier and AC/DC Lanes, finding our favourite street paintings. To finish our Melbourne adventure, we experienced rain, hail and shine in the space of about half an hour while drinking hot chocolate at a café!
The Melbourne Global Round of the World Scholars’ Cup was an unforgettable experience, one that myself and the rest of the CHAC team is unlikely to ever forget. While every aspect of the trip was fantastic in its own right, I greatly enjoyed the academic and competitive portion of the event. During the competition, our senior team went up against fellow scholars from all corners of the globe in tests of knowledge of the year’s disciplines. These events included a 120-question multiple choice test, known as The Challenge, collaborative writing, team debating and The Scholars' Bowl quiz. As a debater, I greatly enjoyed the opportunity to engage in the impromptu debates, which allowed only 15 minutes of preparation. Needless to say, typical QDU short-prep debates, which allow for one hour of preparation, seem almost lethargic now. Our team debated three times, against intimidating schools from Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. I am immensely proud of, and must thank my teammates for, their performance, which led to us winning all our debates. Overall, strong performances from every scholar on our Senior and Junior Team led to the CHAC delegation bringing home a hefty sum of medals which, when competing on the world stage, was an awesome ending to an amazing trip.